In September 2015 we aim to walk the last 100 Km of the Camino de Santiago in Galicia, Spain. For 5 days in a row we’ll be walking between 15 and 25 Km per day in rolling countryside.
Now, it seems to me that Wellington, where I live, is an excellent place to train for walking almost anywhere except high altitude. It’s a compact city, with a tiny bit of flat land and loads of hills. It has splendid hot days, miserable cold days, still days, frequent high winds, rain, city streets and hundreds, maybe thousands of kilometres of tracks through the Town Belt and nearby areas of reserve and even bush.
It’s easy to find a walk that will challenge you.
But wild winds and lashing rain don’t especially draw me outside to exercise, and sometimes I’d rather walk on the flat, which for us is a couple of kilometres drive away. Plus, my regular walks are with 2 small dogs who dawdle.
So we conjured up the idea of hiring a treadmill for a bit.
I’ve never used a treadmill before, but after a couple of days can see its value as a supplement to walking outdoors. We can set a speed and an amount of incline, and it has various programs, if we want to use them.
This morning, knowing I’d have a fairly busy day away from home, I spent 30 minutes on a brisk walk with a bit of an incline thrown in. When I stepped off my legs felt like I’d just spent the day on a boat.
A treadmill’s a bit weird: you’re walking in one spot in a straight line on a perfectly regular surface. In real life you have to avoid other pedestrians, cross roads, account for tree roots or rocks, and handle endless other irregularities.
Still, for endurance and stamina, practice at walking fast, and the fact you don’t have to be out in inclement weather or the dark, it seems a very good thing.
My training programme says that by the end of this month I need to be able to walk 3 Km with ease, and with a daypack. I can already do that, so it’s an easy goal. Next month will be a challenge though I’m sure, as the distance increases to 6 Km per day by month end.
And by the end of July 2015 I have 27 Km per day on my schedule. The good thing is it’s not a race, though we’ll need to keep up a decent pace to walk from one waypoint to the next each day in daylight, with maybe 4 to 5 hours of actual walking plus time for stops, resting, sightseeing and so on.
- Day 1: Arrive in Santiago de Compostela and explore the town before transit to Tui the next day.
- Day 2: Santiago to Tui, then to O Porrino/Redondela/Arcade. Walk Details: 21-27 km.
- Day 3: Redondela or Arcada to Pontevedra. Walk Details: 14-20 km.
- Day 4: Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis. Walk Details: 21 km. This is the flattest stage of the Camino.
- Day 5: Caldas de Reis-Padrón. Walk Details: 17 km.
- Day 6: Padrón to Santiago de Compostela. Walk Details: 22 km. Your last day on the Camino!